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Belters and bohemians: Opera Locos @Sadlers_wells

At the start of the Opera Locos performance, the announcement says that they really are singing. You could be forgiven for wondering that, given the amplification turns up the backing track and the voices so loud that you can't always tell what's real. But this is a mostly harmless and slightly eccentric blend of opera classics fused with the occasional pop classic. However, recognising the pop tunes would help if you were over a certain age. The most recent of them dates back twenty years. It's currently playing at the Peacock Theatre .  Five performers play out a variety of archetype opera characters. There's the worn-out tenor (Jesús Álvarez), the macho baritone (Enrique Sánchez-Ramos), the eccentric counter-tenor (Michaël Kone), the dreamy soprano (María Rey-Joly) and the wild mezzo-soprano (Mayca Teba). Since my singing days, I haven't recognised these types of performers. However, once, I recall a conductor saying he wanted no mezzo-sopranos singing with the s

Music: Sir Thomas Allen

Saturday night I caught Sir Thomas Allen in a recital of music by Fauré, Duparc and Ravel at the Wigmore Hall.

The first half was Fauré's La bonne chanson and L'Horizon chimérique and I thought they were great. I still had a bit of a hangover from all the merriment of Friday night so when it came to interval and everyone was bitching about how the old man was struggling through the music people started knocking back the drinks in the bar when they found out I was enjoying it.

Well there are a couple of points to make here. The first is that Allen is only 62. The second is that as I had never heard some of this music performed before I was more interested in the music than the quality of the performance. But the audience was very appreciative of Allen...

All told I preferred the Fauré works to the others. But I didn't hang around afterwards to get any of his CDs... I needed coffee...

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